Western Digital My Cloud 2TB NAS Review

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Western Digital My Cloud Personal Cloud Storage

Today we take a look at Western Digital’s My Cloud Personal Cloud Storage, an external hard drive system that connects to your home network and can be access from the internet via a PC, smartphone, or tablet just like a cloud base service. The WD My Cloud is a personal private cloud at its core and is basically a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device designed to have tons of functionality and extremely an easy to use GUI.WD MyCloud

Western Digital ships the WD My Cloud in three different capacities: 2TB, 3TB, and 4TB.  Starting at $141.30 for the 2TB, $170.65 for the 3TB, and $208.00 for the 4TB model, each device will give you plenty of room to stash all of your files wither it be documents, photos, or videos. You can also pull files that you’ve stored onto public cloud storage such as Dropbox onto My Cloud. Today we’ll be talking a look at the WD My Cloud 2TB that is sold under part number WDBCTL0020HWT-NESN.

Most of you are familiar with what a NAS device can do but Western Digital is forcing the market to change the way consumers look at external drives.  Western Digital wants consumers to have access to their files from anywhere with minimal fuss. In the past consumers would forced to make an artificial choice when they were considering external hard drives: Get the largest hard drive that you can afford with minimal features, or pay a premium for a feature rich NAS device that drains your wallet. 

WD MyCloud Box

Western Digital is clearly trying to give the consumer a better choice: An inexpensive, single-bay NAS with features for a new generation of users who are on the go and who want access to data from a multitude of devices.  Unlike cloud-only services, the WD My Cloud devices have massive storage options: 2TB – 4TB with the ability to expand that via its USB 3.0 port.  Also, there are no limitations to what kind of data you can store on your personal NAS/Cloud where some services charge a premium for images or video.  Lastly, you can give access to whomever you want unlike many online data services that have strict policies against data sharing.  Western Digital wants to give you options and not limit you in the use of your storage.

WD MyCloud

Western Digital’s My Cloud keeps its design simple with a compact design. If you have seen the WD My Book line of hard drives, the My Cloud line looks very similar just in a different color. The casing around the hard drive is a simple white plastic case with silver edges and accents. This slim design takes the shape of a book and operates upright next to any router due to the fact it needs to be hardwired into the router via Ethernet cable.


WD My Cloud Featured Specifications:

  • Interfaces:
    • Port RJ-45
      • 1 x 10/100/1000M
    • Port USB
      • 1 x USB3.0
  • Hard Drive Performance:
    • Included HDD Capacity: 2TB
  • Power:
    • 100-240V, 47-63Hz
  • Features:
    • Back up files from all your computers
    • Upload, access and save photos and videos from your mobile devices
    • Stream to your DLNA/UPnP-certified connected TVs, media players and gaming consoles
    • Free up space on your mobile device
    • High-performance media streaming
    • Blazing-fast file transfers
    • Expandable storage
    • Centralize your music collection and play it on any computer with iTunes
    • Easy to set up, easy to find on your network
  • System Requirements:
    • Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista or Windows XP (SP3) operating systems
    • Mac OS X Mountain Lion, Lion, or Snow Leopard operating systems
    • DLNA/UPnP devices for streaming
    • Internet connection
    • Supported Browsers
    • Internet Explorer 8.0 or higher
    • Safari 5.0 or higher
    • Firefox 12 or higher
    • Google Chrome 14.0 and later on supported Windows and Mac OS platforms
  • Dimensions / Weight:
    • 6.7″(H) x 5.5″(L) x 1.9″(W)
    • 2.12 lbs.

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  • edpaay

    WD MyCloud 3TB
    I purchased this device to have a networked online shared library for my files. I am a software developer and have many PC’s connected to a network at home and need a common repository for my files without having to have a PC running constantly to serve these files. I also had in mind to be able to access files remotely from client sites without having to sync with and carry around a USB drive.
    So I installed it using the quick guide and that was easy enough; however it installed a bunch of unneeded software including Apple Bonjour used by a useless utility showing the shares exposed by the drive and I came to realize that the remote access apparently goes through a Western Digital web server. So you receive an email with a link to set up external access and if you follow this link you are redirected to the Java install site. So to access your files remotely you need to have Java installed on the PC accessing the MyCloud device through their server. This is unacceptable for me since I do not and cannot expect client PC to install Java since it is a security risk at the least and it wastes space and computing power to a sub-system not needed for anything else. So for me forget the internet access. I will have to install a VPN for this or resort to FTP (which it apparently supports but I have not tested.).
    Ok, so I read many horror stories about earlier versions of the Firmware of this device related to the IP address changing through HDCP and the first thing I did was go into my router and assign the WDMyCloud device a permanent IP address through my router’s HDCP reservation feature so the IP address won’t change. So how does it work on the local network? First off, unless you have a Gigabit LAN and have your PC connected with network cables it will be slow. If you have modern fast WIFI “n” or “ac” it may be OK for streaming media but it will still be slower than a typical USB drive. The device appears to have some sort of processor in it and at one time I saw an indication that it identified the internal file system as Unix or Linux. Not sure exactly if that is what it is; however, it is quite slow, probably has a low power ARM processor of some description. Of course you get what you pay for the 3TB version selling for around $150 so this is not entirely unexpected. WD themselves have much better SAN drives for roughly double the money so we can’t expect too much.
    I copied a large library of files to it and got between 10 Mbs to 60 Mbs depending on whether I was copying many small files or fewer large ones, large files appear to copy faster. For me this is fast enough for what I am using the device for. So the drive has an internal web site (Dashboard) for setup like many routers and other networked devices and can be accessed from any browser via it’s IP address like in my case; it also exposes shares via the Windows Network section in Explorer so you can map these to network drives. It does all this without having to install any software at all. Having realized this I uninstalled all the software that got installed from the steps in the Quick Setup guide since it was superfluous for my use case; good riddance.
    The Firmware in the drive is quite “brittle” meaning that it has a number of anomalies and bugs that may need you to reset or reboot the drive at times or to work around at times the Setup Web Pages may stop responding properly. I think its dysfunction may have to do with the fact that a foreign operating system and file system in the device is trying to expose itself as a standard Windows network shared drive and it is apparently not really 100% compatible. ( I do not have a MAC so I have no idea what it does on OSX)
    At one time it did not want to copy a file with a .jpeg extension but after renaming it with a .jpg extension is was happy. It also did not like copying links containing urls apparently.
    On my local LAN, I don’t care much about security so I have made everything public without any passwords. However, several times trying different options I was presented with a logon dialog on the shares and none of the known user ids and passwords worked with it showing a security incompatibility with Windows (7 or 8.x)
    The device does not have an on/off button (and I did not notice the Reboot / Shutdown feature on the of the Settings/Utilities page until later) so I wanted to move it, therefore I shutdown all the computers and unplugged the power cord. Then when I plugged it back in and turned it on the existing shares on the computers did not work anymore claiming I did not have security access and the log-on dialogs as mentioned earlier did not work. I had to use the Settings/Utilities/Factory Restore – System Only feature to make it work again.
    Next I tried to set-up the SafePoint feature on the Settings Dashboard to make a backup of the settings and data on the device. However, this is bug riddled and very slow and unusable. I tried to use a Network share and it started and created the backup files but after a few minutes it stopped with an error: “SafePoint-create_NaN” with an error code of 200000. Now as a developer I know that NaN (Not a Number) results from trying to use a floating point number that is invalid or uninitialized with would be a true bug. Then I tried to plug in a USB drive to the WDMyCloud device’s USB port and tried to use it for the SafePoint backup but after copying 17% of the 80 or so GB on the drive it failed with the same error. It also showed it is very slow; much slower than copying files to and from the drive. So this is not a usable option either. So I am not impressed with the quality of the Firmware, I would give it 4 out of 10 and would not recommend the device to anyone except someone with above average technical skills.
    Now I do not intend to use it for streaming data to mobile devices so I have not tried any of that. Would I recommend the WD MyCloud? No, spend a little more money and buy a real NAS drive.

  • amit

    I want to know that this device is supported usb 2.0 or not

  • Mahmoud

    how many users can collaborate and access one account simultaneously

  • Randy Reichardt

    I’m curious to know if My Cloud works with PCs and Macs at the same time. What I mean is, at home I have an iPhone, iPac, MacBook, and a Windows 7 machine. Can all of these devices be connected to one My Cloud drive, or do the Mac and PC devices need separate My Cloud drives?

    • Nathan Kirsch

      Yes, all computing devices can connect to the My Cloud, including Mac and PC systems (browser and My Cloud desktop app). The mobile app is available on iOS, Android, Windows and Blackberry OS.

      • Randy Reichardt

        Thank you for your response, Nathan.

  • Maars
  • 23T Bucket

    My 2T box is sitting here unplugged. No support, No instructions. Spent 3 days trying to get this thing to work. SLOW, SLOW, SLOOOOOOOOW! Support? There is NONE…

  • Brian

    how many users total? At any one time may log into the device?

    • Nathan Kirsch

      There is not a set limit. WD suggests 10 people at most, but mentioned to us that some users have told them that they have gone beyond that.

  • Carolyn Sasuga

    I have the 3T MyCloud and have problems viewing my files. I work in graphic design, therefore my folders have tons of pictures. Is there a way to change to View of my file from the little camera icon to Thumbnails?

  • Nyela

    Is this compatible with MacOS X’s Time Machine?

    • ivan

      yes it is

  • LinAdmin

    If you had a look in the support forum of WD MyCloud you would have found out that there are a lot of user complaints proving that the firmware of that device is unstable since the first shipments in Oct. 2013.

    I can not recommend to buy that product before a stable firmware is available!

  • eval

    I have been reading a lot of reviews and description on My Cloud. Nowhere have I seen a word about file protection. Is there a block that will prevent 2 users from modifying the same file simultaneously? I would expect that the first user to opening a file that would set up a block such that any subsequent user could only open the same file as a “read only” file until the original user closed the file. Does My Cloud provide this level of file protection?

    • Binoy Raj

      Your OS will take care of this issue like you are editing a file in your local drive.

    • Nathan Kirsch

      With My Cloud (single bay) each folder has a user control on it that only a particular user has access to it at a time. However, if an Admin does enable multiple users to access the same file, and the users are both editing a file, there is a potential case that they could overwrite one another. This is normal under the fileshare structure (can occur on Sharepoint, Dropbox, etc.).

      For My Cloud Mirror, My Cloud EX2 and My Cloud EX4 there is a document flow management feature – a check-in, check-out feature. WD does support applications on those devices such as Joomla for content (CMS) and Git for version control.

  • Digtial Puppy

    Thanks for your comments. The My Cloud device is password protected via it’s App. When you are remote, there is WD software that does the “handshaking” and you access it via a password login. There are a few pictures of the GUI in the article, but it’s a step more secure than your DropBox. Not exactly SSH, but it’s not like you can see it from a simple snoop.

  • Guest

    I would have like to have read more on Security of this device. If it’s going to be an online device that’s holding your files I need to know how secure is it?
    Otherwise nice writeup.

    Basically a VPN access though there is no VPN connection
    Read more at http://www.legitreviews.com/western-digital-cloud-2tb-nas-review_131939/2#fQw38CEKoqpi3Hjv.99